This is my 100th blog post according to WordPress, the blogging platform I use to present my random reflections to all of you. I half expected balloons and streamers to pop out of my iPad in celebration of the fact that I’ve managed to reach triple digits but, alas, it was not to be. All that would happen to denote the achievement of this personal milestone would be an incremental change of one in my ‘Blog Posts’ count.
We human beings often tend to apply such incredible weight to otherwise randomly-occurring events, transforming them into grand milestones and markers of our life’s journey. From birth to death, engagement to wedding, 18th, 21st and 30th birthdays and beyond, we do love a self-created signpost in life. I discussed in a recent blog post my own milestone of turning 40, which is funny because it really did feel like just any other day, even though I instinctively approached it with a sense of reverence.
Why do we do it? Why do we elevate some events and dates beyond others? Firstly, let’s acknowledge that dates and numbers only have specific meaning to those who understand them – I mean, I just started a new decade of my life under the Gregorian calendar system, but how old am I in the Mayan calendar or the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar? Does it matter? Not really, because it’s still simply an arbitrary number, something we assign meaning to in order to celebrate our continued life’s journey as our little planet hurtles around our sun at 108,000 km/h (true fact). Which brings me to my second point: time is something that we human beings have constructed, according to many scientists and philosophers alike. Which is kind of mind-blowing in and of itself.
Yet, as much as we might recognise the seemingly-random nature of how we assign value to the passage of time, we continue to create and celebrate milestones.
The more I think about it, the more I have come to believe that milestones play an essential role in our lives because they offer us the opportunity to pause and reflect so that we may take stock of where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going. And I believe there is great value in that. Anyone who has ever been involved in projects in the business world would know that locking in – and celebrating – key milestones throughout the project lifespan is an essential component of successful project management, with each milestone representing a chunk of work that is usually a stepping stone towards the next stage – in other words, the project usually cannot proceed until each stepping stone has been achieved. It’s a neat and tidy way of carving up a large amount of work into manageable chunks. It’s this notion of ‘manageable chunks’ which we’re actually celebrating when we acknowledge personal milestones; rather than focusing on our entire lifespan (or hoped-for lifespan) which can be hard to fathom, we can instead focus on smaller and more manageable parts of our lives.
For me, this notion of celebrating milestones is important because it allows us to integrate the past and the future into our present, something I talked about in my previous blog post. Our present is a product of our past and it is the foundation of our future, and so embracing all three allows us to truly appreciate every stage of our life’s journey.
News: Launch of the Let’s Talk About Depression speaking tour in Australia (and how you can help make it happen)
I have a major milestone coming up on August 2nd: the launch of my Let’s Talk About Depression speaking tour in Australia. It’s a self-funded and not-for-profit tour and primarily focused on regional and rural locations (although I will be coming to capital cities as well!), and it’s something that you can get behind by providing support on GoFundMe.
When I first wrote and self-published my book, Depression? F*** Depression!, late last year. I knew that I wanted to make a positive difference by getting out and talking about it with as many people as possible and now I’m realising my goal. Let’s Talk About Depression is an author talk and open forum focused on depression and mental health. Each session is free and will run for 45-60 minutes, and I’m mainly holding them at libraries because they are the hub of communities. As I mentioned above, I’m focusing primarily on regional and rural communities because access to this sort of thing is usually limited in these areas. It’s a big and exciting challenge: I’m looking at delivering to over 95 locations in NSW, ACT & VIC alone between August and December this year, and will also be extending late this year or early next year to include Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
I’m well aware that it’s an ambitious undertaking and I will be spending a lot of time on the road, but I know in my core that this is the right thing to do. It might seem crazy to devote so much time to doing this and, to some, even crazier that this will be not-for-profit, but as I’ve said before, I didn’t write my book to become a millionaire; I wrote it to help people who might be going through what I went through, and that is more important than time or money. Having said that, self-funding is a challenge so I am asking all of you to please show me your support in any way you can – two easy ways to do this are to (1) buy my book and/or (2) donate to my GoFundMe campaign as outlined below (of course, social media shares are always welcome too!).
How you can show your support:
(1) Buy a copy of one of my books – head to my Store page HERE (all proceeds from sales will go directly to funding the tour)
(2) Contribute to my fundraising campaign on GoFundMe at gofundme.com/2ge3wdck
Thanks in advance and I hope to see you at one of my talks!